We had the good fortune of connecting with Elena Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elena, do you still remember your first job? What was it?
My first job was at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. When I was sixteen I applied for an experimental position they were trying out. It was very similar to their College Program, but it would be a High School Program. Luckily, I was one of forty students selected to attend the program where we worked and went to school daily on Disney property. It was an experience of a lifetime. It changed my life and molded my work ethic to what it is today. I was even fortunate to have received a scholarship to college after my 4 year term at the school. I worked many jobs within the company my ten years there. Eventually, my favorite position was working with special events and banquets within the company. These values came to play immensely today when working in the field managing and staffing large scale events. The training I gained focused on a lot of customer service, exceeding guests expectations, how to deal and talk to people, manage large crowds and how to act quickly and handle emergencies onsite. I owe it all to the “mouse”.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are a Nationwide Event Staffing Agency that provides event and promotional staff. These staff are hired as Brand Ambassadors for particular brands and clients to promote various everyday products. We staff everything from local events, national tour managers and event specialty staff. For instance, licensed cosmetologists, emcees, bartenders or any type of staff with a special trait or certification depending on the request from the brand or client. What I feel really set us apart is the personal connection we strive to have with our staff. Since they are really the ones out there making the lasting impressions on the consumers, we like to offer them with a slightly higher wage than some other companies, better gigs and events and really just keep it with a family like feel. I want to be able to get a call from a client and think to myself, “oh, Elena would be perfect for this!” I’d rather book them on a first name basis vs, send out a blast email and put anyone on the job. To me it’s very personable. We also strive on promoting those to attain their goals within the field and help mentor them. A lot of our staff start off as Brand Ambassadors to later become tour managers within our agency. I like when I feel commended for a job well done, and that’s how we like to keep it here! Being a business owner is a 24/7 job and never easy. Yes, there were days when quitting and going to work for someone else seemed the easier route. During busy season, you take on so much of your work and bring it home with you. It never stops. The stresses of last minute demand and change along with scheduling in this industry make it so hectic at times. But all in all it keeps you on your toes and makes for great laughter when it’s all over at the end of the day!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I just recently just moved from Laurel Canyon, so my usual routine would be to bring my guest back to my place. We would cruise around the canyon that is known for the many great musicians and artists that came out of there back in the 60’s and 70’s. Just envisioning the way it used to be back then in these hills has always fascinated me. The thought of the open door policy and everyone sitting around making music together. I always picture the sounds echoing in the canyons and how cool it must have been to hear the Monkees, Mamas and the Papas and even Jim Morrison just vibing and grooving out. It’s something about the feeling in Laurel Canyon that really makes you forget your in LA. The city views, the funky houses and all the great music history that was made there make this little neighborhood so unique. Sharing these fascinating stories with my friends when they visit has always been one of my favorites. Next, we would then head down to the local Canyon Country store to pick up some snacks and beverages before heading to the Sunday Melrose Swap. The Canyon Country Store has been a staple in Hollywood since the 60’s and the best part is they have left the retro feel and memorabilia and if you’re lucky the owner might be there and give you a personal tour and share stories from the past. Again, many artist that lived in the area used to all meet up and write songs and music here on the patio. It’s a great place to grab a fresh deli sandwich or local coffee and pastry. Following the Canyon Country Store, we would head over to the Melrose Swap Meet on Fairfax. Every Sunday (Pre COVID) a variety of hundreds of local vendors selling vintage and modern clothing, art, furniture. It’s a great place to people watch, score one of a kind pieces, try local fare and even enjoy local music all in one area. The costs is around $5, but the money is for a great cause and supports the High School the event is held at. Lastly, after a day of shopping we would head over to Sal’s Restaurant on Melrose around the corner from the swap for amazing unlimited Strawberry Mimosas and great food. They offer a variety of food to choose from and they have a patio for those who want to watch people strolling Melrose, or maybe if you want to bring your dog along. It’s a great local eatery.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d have to say my father has always been my mentor and supporter. I have learned almost everything from him early on. I feel that has pushed me to where I am today. He always stressed the importance of a good education and hard work. I think he even worked two jobs to see that me and my brother attended private school. He was the sole provider for the family and he managed to make it seem so easy. He was always so calm and collective and I really admired that about him. I get much of these attributes from him and see a lot of him in myself today. I really looked up to him, but never really realized that until I was an adult. He was a very hard worker and stressed the importance of a good work ethic. He stood behind me.
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